Thousands of frustrated homeowners facing foreclosure are looking for help at a convention of the non-profit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The organization's set up at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena for the next 10 days.
Organizers expect to see thousands of people a day.
"C’mon you guys." Lady Massie’s taking a group of English and Spanish speakers to the part of the sports arena where they sit and wait to see a financial counselor or loan server.
Most have already spent hours waiting for and sitting through orientation – and even more time trying to negotiate mortgage modifications.
“We tried to talk to the banks before, on our own," says Phillip Enrique. Enriquez says telephone representatives at Bank of America wouldn’t listen. “They couldn’t help us. They were too busy."
Enriquez says he and his partner frequently called B of A for about a year. Then they traveled to Sacramento last fall for the Neighborhood Assistance convention. There they met, face-to-face, with a financial counselor and loan server.
“They tried to call B of A and they told us, ‘We never even tried.’ They didn’t have any record." Enriquez said he and his partner were surprised.
Enriquez says that trip paid off. B of A sliced their interest rate in half.
This time, Enriquez wants to lower it even more. Organizers of this loan modification event estimate that 85 percent of homeowners in their program will see a favorable outcome.
Miriam Akhverdyan flew in from Seattle, Washington to get help modifying her home loan. She got in line at midnight.
“It was so crazy," says Akhverdyan. "It was so pathetic. It was so shameful. I mean, everybody was freezing to death in that cold night. I mean, it was just terrible. It was the worst night of my life.”
About 1,500 people were in line before doors opened Thursday morning.